What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of humanity. Anthropology examines societies and culture in order to understand the diversity and social existence of humans throughout history. Anthropology focuses on the evolution of behavioral patterns of humans. Anthropology explores the varied nuances of human life from gender, race, religion, rituals, language, hierarchies, and more. Anthropologists take a holistic approach to understanding humanity and how the past behaviors of humans affect the present. They study different societies to discover the diverse ways in which people organize, behave, and adapt. Anthropologists utilize their findings and compare patterns and behaviors to better understand society and to improve their community. Anthropology is divided into four categories: biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology. Biological anthropology focuses more on the biological evolution of humans through time and studies biological variation in humans. Biological anthropology can be applied to modern societies through the exploration of health in societies, genetics, adaptation, nutrition, and diseases. Archaeology is the branch of anthropology that centers on the study of historical artifacts and fossils. By uncovering past objects, archeologists learn about how people lived and behaved in the past and how they have evolved. Linguistic anthropology studies language and communication and explores how dialect evolves and changes. Furthermore, linguistic anthropologists examine patterns in language to determine how societies communicate and how language conveys information, emotion, and identity. The fourth branch of anthropology is cultural anthropology. Cultural anthropology examines the interactions and behaviors of people and how this affects the development and evolution of societies. Cultural anthropology studies topics such as language, social skills, politics, gender, and more to understand patterns of cultural behavior. Cultural anthropology compares current events and contemporary cultures to historic events to further understand humanity and its variations.

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